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What is the most affordable plane to buy for time building? And doing an EASA CPL/IR the DIY route, and AOC matters.

Peter wrote:

What they are worth to you, obviously depends. But one certainly can’t simply state that ownership makes no sense below 100hrs or whatever.

If everything is valued in cash (or credit ), and all you ask for of this hobby is to fly as cheap as possible, that’s about right for a certified plane. For a non certified plane it’s about 20-30 hours per year, considering you can find one to rent.

But, what most people want is “bang for the buck”. “Bang for the buck” in a rented Cessna is as low as it gets (seriously). As soon as you have your own aircraft (any kind really), or find a way to fly without paying for it, the “bang” makes a quantum leap. As a consequence, the “buck” becomes a bit irrelevant as well.

Laurent_N wrote:

I sent an email to the Romanian CAA asking if I can built time in an uncertified and this is the answer I got: “In the absence of evidence regarding the EASA accreditation of the planes you refer to in the email, we can inform you that AACR cannot recognize the hours you refer to as accumulation hours.”

Reminds of the Norwegian CAA. They drag their feet as long as they possible can about EASA regulations they “don’t like”. The point is, you have an EASA license according to EASA regulations, not according to what the national CAA likes or not. Sometimes it’s to our advantage, sometime not (and then we don’t make a fuzz about it) In this case, it’s definitely to our advantage.

The elephant is the circulation

that’s about right for a certified plane.

I don’t agree, for the reasons posted.

On any plane you can vary the costs by about 5x depending on the various factors.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

For American state of design airplanes, AD’s can be searched at:

US ADs on that database cover all applicable N-registered aircraft having an FAA type certificate, which is not related to where they were originally designed or certified. Any FAA certified aircraft regardless of where it was made or originally certified has an FAA type certificate and is not subject to foreign law. Nor are aircraft on foreign registers necessarily subject to US ADs unless their country of registration as a national policy (and unlike the US FAA) enforces foreign ADs without review or modification. So while the FAA AD database is easily accessible it should be considered a general guide unless the aircraft is N-registered.

In relation to the OPs question, the best reason to own an aircraft is because you want to own an aircraft. Under some circumstances it can be less expensive to buy one and sell it later instead of renting, but this depends very much on the condition of the individual aircraft (even more so than the type) and on your individual circumstance in relation to maintaining it. The lowest cost, lowest risk plane to buy and resell later would be a very simple one that you already know very well, ideally for example a plane you are already flying and which has an existing maintenance situation that you can continue, and which is inexpensive.

Having said that, I have always chosen to buy unusual certified types because despite the apparent risk of doing so, for me they are better and less expensive to own: they are often less expensive initially, are less likely to attract an AD, and the details of their design may be weakly documented and are usually less familiar to inspectors. Otherwise people including other owners and mechanics are more interested in them, and more helpful. Also I am interested in learning every detail of my plane’s design anyway and given time can do it nowadays without a lot of local support. However as others have pointed out if you’re a hands-off owner with no technical background and no interest in the plane except flying it some of these these same factors can be a disadvantage, not an an advantage. You then need something generic and you’ll pay more regardless. So on this level too it depends on your individual circumstances.

A lot of this extends to life in general BTW. The more you learn in any given area, the more individual your behavior becomes in that area and then as a result your results improve

Last Edited by Silvaire at 22 Mar 15:29

@Peter thank you! That’s exactly how I think about the ownership. Is not only about money, but about the freedom.
@Pilot_DAR thank you!
@LeSving thank you. I’ll be in Norway in about 3 weeks, I’ve seen your base is not close to where I am going.
@Silvaire good advice, thank you! I saw some “exotic” planes, like a Robin ATL with Limbach engine, but I read that there were only about 20 produced.

LRPW, LRBS, Romania

I want to give my five pennies to this.
As mentioned before by others, if you mostly just want to build hours and fly around freely and cheaply, first of all try to figure out amount of hours per year.
Long ago I had a C150 and it was really simple and cheap to maintain – it is like a tractor: you hardly can break it down. Because of that it is pretty expensive to buy but as well saves the value pretty well. Probably starting from 30 000 e if it is legal (well, my fried got a good P28-140 for around 17 000 some years ago).

Now I have had a Ralley Club MS880B for some years with the same engine as C150. I love that little rallye. Bought it for 11 000 e, so with the price difference you can already fly a lot! Ralley is very slow and original but I can land to almost any field with it – and I do NOT mean airfield but farmer’s cultivated field. So you can jump around where the are no airfields at all. Is that not an advantage? With C150 you can do pretty much the same but need a little longer field (I know by experience).

And Ralley can take up to 4 people if they are not too heavy. I have flown with one adult and two children with me. Or if you fly by two, you can stuff tents, sleeping bags etc to the back seat. And if I fly alone, I can fill my 170 liter tanks up and fly 8 hours with that (although this is probably the only little rallye in Finland with the big tanks, usually they are 98 liters).

My fixed costs go around 3-4000 a year. So if I had money to fly 100 h each year, that would make only 40 per hour. The auto gas 22/h costs about 45. Those are my only costs for it, so you can roughly figure out if it is better to buy a C172 for 60 000 or a ralley for 11 000. Depends on your economies and needs and plans.
Well, my fixed costs include 550 for the cold hangar (airfield is free) and annuals with a free lance mechanic and all small maintenance by myself. You might not have that good possibilities? But if you live in the country and have a field, why not keep the plane there and build a tent for it…

Some 4 years ago there were a couple other planes here for sale, asking about 10 000e. One was another Ralley Club and the other one an experimental. Fully legal and in good condition etc. So it is possible to find pretty good ones pretty cheap if that is what you want.
It would be nice if more people would tell about their actual costs. I remember that for me it was simply impossible to find them out before owning the plane. That’s why I wanted to add some of my number data. I would not have money for even a C150 (the past one I had in the USA 35 years ago) but I do have for this ralley.

But bying the plane with someone else might not be so nice… very often it would create problems and break friendships when you disagree about getting new glass cockpit or painting etc. Safer to have only one owner even if you borrow it to others – but then with accidents you might hit into legal problems like in some other thread.
Renting C150 from our club is about 120e but that does give so awful restrictions into plane use that I rather even pay a little more for having my own baby. As it gets only some 50 hours annually, I might get those hours a little cheaper by renting that 150 – but flying only between official airfields, only when nobody else has reserved it, listening to besserwisser giving his advice about everything I do (“no not that way.. let me show how you fill the tank”), washing the windshield and leading edges after every flight.. etc etc etc. They have the club just to invent new rules all the time. So if you have 10-15 000 e, you can freely select if you use it for a car, horse, boat or airplane. It is up to you.

EFFO EFHV, Finland

Sorry for my previous long story… I even forgot to give the link to EASA AD:s. Go to and type the airplane type, engine, propeller and it will list hundreds of ADs. Most of them are not related to your plane but some are. You should pick those out and see if they give troubles or are expensive to follow. Required some brain work and asking around.

EFFO EFHV, Finland

@hanski thank you very much! Great answer!
This was exactly what I was looking for – some ideas and some estimated costs.
I will look for some Ralleys. Would love to see yours if you have a thread or something with pics.

LRPW, LRBS, Romania

If Annex 1 can be used, and VFR hours only, get a very simple aircraft for < €10,000. Small Jodel, or an Evans VP.

EGPE, United Kingdom


Something which will come up when it comes to buying airplanes is the term “Pre Purchase Inspection”.

You may know that airplanes are maintained on regimes of regular reoccurring inspections. 50, 100 hours, Annual, e.t.c. These inspections basically are there to make sure the airplane is airworthy by checking it technically and also if there are any paperwork issues to resolve such as ADs or SBs which stand for Airworthiness Directives or Service Bulletins. How binding the latter are is different depending where your plane is registered.

Before you buy a plane, it should undergo a so called Pre-Purchase Inspection (PPI) by a competent maintenance organisation, to clarify the technical and documented condition of the aircraft. Basically, a pre-buy should establish any problems which need to either be corrected before purchase or compensated by a reduction in price, but primarily give you a very educated idea what you are buying.

Once you own the airplane, you will have to have a maintenance organisation to work with, so it is a pretty good idea to look around for one in your area and also check if hangarage is available well before you consider buying. Both will help you once you make up your mind.

What you have said is that you are looking for a cheap to operate time builder. If that is what your intention is, we are talking of a mostly VFR capable airplane with corresponding equipment. Some posts ago however you were talking of IFR. If your intentions go there, we are talking a different ballpark of airplane and avionics. So before you decide what is good for you, you have to define what you wish to achive. VFR or IFR, what range do you expect, what speed. What do you want to do with the plane, how many people carry regularly e.t.c.

Evaluating and choosing an airplane is big fun, but it also requires proper planning in order to avoid buying the wrong airplane. We’ve all here been through this and yes, we are willing to help.

LSZH(work) LSZF (GA base), Switzerland

@Maoraigh Thank you! Do you know by chance where to look? On Planecheck I found prices way higher than what you mentioned.

@Mooney_Driver great advice, thank you! I need to start asking around for organisations doing maintenance. Maybe the Authority has a list on their website (what I found so far was mostly for Cessnas and big boys – Boeing and Airbus – definitely a different league).

Yes, I am interested mostly into a plane that I can fly VFR, 4 seats would be ideal but 2 would work most of the time. I was just thinking to bring my family with me sometimes, but I think I can rent for something like this if I find a good deal for a 2 seater.

I plan to build the time towards CPL (not really interested in ATPL, however will get the ATPL because the difference between CPL and ATPL theory is minor) and part of it is IFR training. However, I am aware that the price difference is major between a VFR and IFR ready plane, so I can skip it for now, build time in a low cost plane then see what I really need.

I will first do a shortlist of planes then find PPIs in the area where I find them.

LRPW, LRBS, Romania
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